INTRODUCTIONAcrossthe world, statistics show that up to 10% of the population are affected byLearning Disabilities (LD). In a country like India 13-14% of children areaffected by Learning Disabilities.
“Learning disabilities are not aprescription for failure. With the right kinds of instruction, guidance andsupport, there are no limits to what individuals with LD can achieve.” SheldonH. Horowitz, Ed.D., Director of LD Resources National Center for LearningDisabilities ( https://www.ncld.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2014-State-of-LD.
pdf)InIndia the number of children with LD is large, the resources are scarce and theproblems are complex. Also other factors like lack of awareness, lack ofknowledge and lack of trained special educators often lead to children notgetting the necessary help and support. There are certain myths and assumptionspeople have about children with LD such as: they are less likely to attendregular school, be successful in life and have a good career. It’sheartwarming to read about the Bombay High Court intervening and coming to therescue of the children with LD. As per the news published on 30thJune, 2015 in the Times of India (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.
com/city/mumbai/list-kids-with-learning-disablity-HC/articleshow/47873109.cms) MUMBAI: The Bombay high court, in a recentorder, has directed the school education department to identify the number ofstudents who are detected with learning disability (LD) in Maharashtra in theage group of 8 to 15years.The HC said, “The school educationdepartment of the state government shall submit a further report by August15.” It had taken suo motu cognizance of a letter in April written by twomental health professionals—Dr Harish Shetty and Dr Sanghnaik Meshram, followinga student being told that there could be no writer during exams conducted bythe National Institute of Open Schooling. The HC has also allowed other boardslike the Maharashtra state board, ICSE, CBSE, IB and IGCSE to be maderespondents.
Oneof the suggesting measures for Maharashtra, Vijaykar said, “These kids shouldhave the option to appear for only two written papers and one performingskills. They may not be eligible for degree colleges but can be made eligiblefor Mumbai University’s Vocational Certificate Courses. The suggestion given isgood and would be a positive move if implemented.Accordingto National Centre for Learning Disabilities “Learning disabilities arise fromneurological differences in brain structure and function and affect a person’sability to receive, store, process, retrieve or communicate information.”Learning Disabilitiesmay not necessarily be due to genetic factors, illness after birth orcomplications during pregnancy but may be due to consequences of insults to thedeveloping brain before birth or during birth involving factors such as drug oralcohol use during pregnancy, oxygen deprivation and premature birth, prolongedlabour, maternal malnutrition or low birth weight. Even post-natal eventsresult in LD which include traumatic injuries, exposure to poisonous substanceor severe nutritional deprivation.
Some people fail to discover that LD are oneof the reasons for their life long difficulties in the areas such as Math,reading, comprehension and written expression.